“Building a Juggernaut” Part One: The Dontre Wilson commitment

Dontre Wilson declaring himself a Duck during an all-star game Friday

Last night, the Ducks landed a huge commitment from RB Dontre Wilson, out of DeSoto, TX. A unanimous four-star across all four major recruiting services, Wilson is one of the best backs in the country. He picked the Ducks over Ohio St. and Texas, but also held offers from the likes of Arkansas, Baylor, Clemson, LSU, Notre Dame, Oklahoma, Oklahoma St., Texas A&M and West Virginia among others.

Wilson is dynamite, a threat to score with every touch of the ball. He’s a playmaker with elite speed, vision and the elusiveness to be devastating in the open field. In other words, he is tailor-made to play in Oregon’s offense. He has the speed to get around the corner on the outside zone read and the quickness to be dangerous on the IZR. Watch this video and tell me you don’t see a guy who will flourish in Oregon’s offense:

Some are already questioning the commitment, wondering whether he won’t end up jumping ship before national signing day. Certainly Texas’ Mack Brown and Ohio State’s Urban Meyer will be in his ear until the ink dries next February. That said, I think it’s over. Dontre’s dad has made it clear that once he committed, that would be the end of it. He seems to be a “my word is my bond” type of kid. Much like the Amoako’s last year, Dontre comes from a strong family that pride themselves on keeping their commitments, making a change of heart seems unlikely.

Wilson joins Thomas Tyner, another blue-chip running back commit for the 2013 recruiting class. Tyner’s world-class speed and elite size have many anointing him the next great Oregon running back. While it wouldn’t be wise to argue against that possibility, especially because of his underrated vision, Tyner has battled some injuries as of late. While there’s no reason to believe these will persist into his college career, injuries seem to have a malicious preference when it comes to choosing victims. Some guys can never seem to avoid a string of random, seemingly unrelated injuries.

Worst-case scenario, Wilson acts as a really good insurance plan. Best-case scenario, Tyner and Wilson form the most deadly running back duo in college football. Either way, the addition of Dontre Wilson cannot be understated.

Some will point to Dontre’s commitment as a sign that Oregon is beginning to pull elite players from around the nation. The truth is, though, the Ducks have already established a running back pipeline in Texas dating back to LaMichael James. That “success” is actually being used a negative recruiting tool, since the last three backs to commit out of the state, Lache Seastrunk, Dontae Williams and Tra Carson, have all transferred after just one year with the team for one reason or another. Opposing coaches are surely using this against Oregon. The Wilson commitment could turn out to be huge if he goes on to have success in Eugene, helping to keep the Texas running back pipeline open.

It’s only May, but it’s entirely possible that Dontre Wilson ends up as the most important commitment in the 2013 class. Oregon’s offense is predicated on running the ball, and adding Wilson all but guarantees that the team will have elite talent at the RB position for the foreseeable future. What’s more, it keeps the Texas pipeline alive and well. Wilson’s talent and versatility adds to an already lethal collection of offensive skill position players in Eugene.

Take a look at the talent lined up for 2013, along with each player’s Rivals ranking and projected class:


4* Brian Bennett (Jr.)

3* Marcus Mariota (So.)

4* Jake Rodrigues (Fr.)


Running Back:

5* DeAnthony Thomas (Jr.)

4* Byron Marshall (So.)

5* Thomas Tyner (Fr.)

4* Dontre Wilson (Fr.)


Wide Receiver:

4* Josh Huff (Sr.)

4* Devon Blackmon (So.)

3* BJ Kelley (So.)

4* Tacoi Sumler (So.)

4* Bralon Addison (So.)

4* Dwayne Stanford (Fr.)

3* Chance Allen (Fr.)


Tight End:

5* Colt Lyerla (Jr.)

4* Christian French (So.)

4* Evan Baylis (So.)

4* Pharaoh Brown (Fr.)

If you thought Chip Kelly had weapons before, just wait. Of course star ratings and high school stats don’t apply to actual production at the collegiate rankings, but it’s indicative of the kind of talent that Oregon is now luring to Eugene.

Check back Monday for part two, where I’ll take a look how this collection of offensive talent measures up against the nation’s elite.

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Chris Charbonnier

Chris Charbonnier

Chris was born in Montevideo, Uruguay, but made his way to Oregon by the age of five, when he attended his first game at Autzen Stadium. A huge sports fan at a young age, Chris grew up playing football, basketball and golf. Although realizing he isn’t likely to play in the NFL or NBA, Chris still holds on to hopes of being a professional golfer should his unfortunate putting woes take a turn for the better. A bit of a platypus, he attended both Oregon State and Oregon during his collegiate days where he earned a business degree in Finance and Business Administration. Chris works for Daimler Trucks North America in Portland, and plans to get his MBA from the University of Oregon.Chris has been an active member in the recruiting community since 2005. He studies the intricacies of recruiting and is particularly intrigued by talent evaluation techniques. He is currently working on developing his own scouting reports for every scholarship player on the UO roster. Chris lives with his wife, Katrina, and his two-year-old son Lucas (a future dual-threat QB).

13 Responses

  1. FishDuck says:

    It’s typical to go, “ho-hum” another RB…that’s nice.  But reading your report has me pumped, and your logic about the importance from so many angles is compelling.

    Great stuff, thanks.

  2. Whereas Tyner is a larger guy, very fast but an upright runner ala Eddie George, Wilson works as the perfect compliment. Wilson should fall into more of the TZR role, often lining up outside to maximize his abilities in open space. Ducks picked up a very fast, very shifty playmaker.

  3. J10eff says:

    the only thing that matters with the Duck offense is SPEED….if the kid is fast he will make it.

    • Chris Charbonnier says:

      Having the vision to find the cutback lanes is actually more important than pure speed. So is the actual ability to cut. DeAnthony Thomas isn’t the fastest player in the country, but the fluidity in his hips and his ability to cut upfield at close to full speed make him the most dangerous playmaker in college football IMO.

      • Josh White says:

        Great write up, and I agree with you, Chris. While speed is good- in every offense- there are a lot more attributes required to be a great player at Oregon, or anywhere. It is certainly not “the only thing that matters”

  4. Michaelg says:

    Bennett is a sophomore

  5. Qvakatak says:

    I just read Oregon had dropped to th 50th recruiting class in 2013. Thid is very nice I think it coach Cambell with the Texas connection.  Sure hope it works out.  I heard Seastrunk was not grasping the offense like Chip needed.  Best of luck to him at Baylor.  Now lets get some more athletic big boys [men] out of the south to push USC and the SEC teams off the ball. 

  6. Bitbucket says:

    DAT is a Junior? Think not.

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